LearningGrounds is part of Merri Creek Management Committee’s commitment to environmental education. It is a program to assist schools in the northern metropolitan area of Melbourne with their plans to establish indigenous gardens in school grounds. This is how local schools contribute to the expansion and integrity of the flora and fauna of the Merri Creek Catchment. (Of course, no matter where you are, indigenous planting contributes to the integrity of waterways and environment.)
Schools participating in Learning Grounds are encouraged to develop and link outdoor learning opportunities to their indigenous gardens whether the stage is early (such as the planning phase) or later (important maintenance and establishment phase).
Newly developed indigenous school gardens
Croxton Special School in Northcote has been connecting with Merri Creek Management Committee’s Learning Grounds Program since 2011. During 2012 plans were considered for indigenous plantings in a number of sites around the school but especially near the new VCAL building. During 2013 the planning paid off with students doing all the planting and mulching with the picture on the right showing a great improvement and impact in about 12 months.
Thomastown Secondary staff became interested in developing an indigenous garden in their school grounds during their intensive connection with Edgars Creek in 2013 through other MCMC projects Edgars Creek: Creek Connections and Storming for Cleaner Water. Together the indigenous gardens were discussed - considering what biodiversity value an indigenous garden contributes and examining the indigenous gardens of other schools. Planning begins by imagining a potential site and thinking about the scope of the work – especially the numbers of plants, a suitable plant list, and an estimate of costs involved. Even though the garden on the right is just 5 months old, indigenous plant growth is strong and survival rates appear high – the challenge now is about weed management and considering maintenance planting in autumn 2014.
Common Grounds is part of Merri Creek Management Committee's commitment to environmental education. It is an extension of the Learning Grounds program. Common Grounds assists school communities in the northern metropolitan area of Melbourne who either have or intend to establish indigenous gardens in school grounds to network with each other.